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The Pilbara

Posted on 30 May 2009 | 0 comments

The basic plan for this trip: Marcus and Jude drive Lara and Paddy (Marcus’ car) up through the Pilbara to Broome via Mt Augustus (the biggest monolith in WA) and Karijini. Jon, Mel and Karlie fly into Broome about 10 days later and then we’ll start our round trip through the Kimberley. Rough plan for the Kimberley is to drive via the Gibb River Road to Kununurra with a big side trip to the Mitchell Plateau. After Kununurra we want to head down to Purnululu (Bungle Bungles) and hopefully Wolfe Creek (nope – we haven’t watched the movie yet, we will watch it when we get there…). Jon has to leave us after the Bungle Bungles as he is going back to work and we’ll continue with places like Tunnel Creek and Geiki Gorge before dropping off Mel and Karlie at the airport in Broome. Marcus and Jude will drive the cars back down to Perth again…

July 2009: We’re back – the trip has ended… 44 days of holidays…time flies! This is the story of the Pilbara part of the trip, check out the rest of the trip in the Kimberley post.


On 20 May, Marcus & Jude departed Perth after spending the day packing Lara and Paddy. We only left Perth late in the afternoon and drove to our first campsite at random. Happy to camp anywhere, we found a spot in Tathra NP. Not much there in terms of facilities, but it has a beautiful sandy track off the main road. Perfect spot.

Mt Augustus is our first destination and it is absolutely stunning. We can’t believe there is hardly anybody making the effort to come out here. There are several hikes you can do, including one to the summit and up one of the gorges (Kotka Gorge) and there are some locations with aboriginal art work as well. We spend 2 days there, doing all the hikes and almost losing my clothes in the river…

Lara at sunset

Lara at sunset

wedge tail eagle

wedge tail eagle

hiking to the top of Mt Augustus

hiking to the top of Mt Augustus

we made it to the top

we made it to the top

they are so elegant!

they are so elegant!

Kotka gorge

Kotka gorge

awesome views from Kotka gorge

awesome views from Kotka gorge

this is what paradise looks like

this is what paradise looks like

dingos hanging around a dead cow

On our way to Karijini, Paddy had a few too many flats so we left her by the side of the road and drove via Tom Price to Paraburdoo with Lara. With only a bit over 1l diesel left in her tank (because Tom Price had run out of diesel!) we just made it. With the help from Tony, Marcus bought some new tyres and we were on our way back to Paddy again. We found her alright and spent another night by the side of the road.

we were experts in plugging flat tyres after a while

we were experts in plugging flat tyres after a while

slightly downhil, but absolutely perfect spot

slightly downhil, but absolutely perfect spot

end of a great road: Meekatharra - Ashburton Rd

end of a great road: Meekatharra – Ashburton Rd

Tony's backyard full of Mickey Thomson's tyres

Tony’s backyard full of Mickey Thomson’s tyres

Karijini is just the best. It is the most stunning location in the world, with so many hikes, swims, climbs and the most amazing views ever, we happily spent the rest of the time here before having to drive up to Broome to meet Jon.

another awesome camp spot in Karijini

another awesome camp spot in Karijini

Joffre falls - beautiful

Joffre falls – beautiful

end of Knox gorge for us as we didn't carry ropes that day

end of Knox gorge for us as we didn’t carry ropes that day

Marcus going a bit further in Knox

Marcus going a bit further in Knox

water flow in Knox

water flow in Knox

on the way out of Knox

on the way out of Knox

Knox again, so pretty

Knox again, so pretty

can you believe nature created this?!

can you believe nature created this?!

flow before the big waterfal at the end of Weano

flow before the big waterfal at the end of Weano

looking into Red gorge from the top of the waterfal in Weano

looking into Red gorge from the top of the waterfal in Weano

you can just see Jude near the top in her bright pink top

you can just see Jude near the top in her bright pink top

hiking back through Weano after climbing down the waterfall

hiking back through Weano after climbing down the waterfall

in Red gorge, Weano waterfall in the background with great hair

in Red gorge, Weano waterfall in the background with great hair

We found a little camp spot on Dingo loop at the Dales campground (with plenty of dingoes roaming around and through our camp site!), hiked up the highest mountain in WA (Mt Meharry at 1250m), explored gorgeous gorges, swam in plenty of waterholes and had showers under waterfalls. And then completely random we met John and Scooby who had also been at Tony’s in Paraburdoo. We enjoy some cold beers with them and unfortunately miss them the next night. They leave a note with their contact details and we manage to meet up with them in Broome. Temperature differences each night are amazing, some so cold I need to wear my sleeping bag when drinking the port and on other nights it is comfortable to sit outside just wearing a fleece.

some iron ore in the world's longest trains

some iron ore in the world’s longest trains

highest gps reading you can get in WA...

highest gps reading you can get in WA…

at the top of Mt Meharry

at the top of Mt Meharry

first proper shower in a week :-)

first proper shower in a week 🙂

the amazing steps of Fortescue falls

the amazing steps of Fortescue falls

beautiful Stuart Desert Pea

beautiful Stuart Desert Pea

some blue asbestos - laying around everywhere

some blue asbestos – laying around everywhere

blue asbestos in situ

blue asbestos in situ

government trying to 'cover up' the asbestos mine site with blue metal

government trying to ‘cover up’ the asbestos mine site with blue metal

some more asbestos in the creek beds

some more asbestos in the creek beds

Paddy having fun

Paddy having fun

pretty flowers in Wittenoom gorge

pretty flowers in Wittenoom gorge

wow wow wow, you need to see this to believe it!

wow wow wow, you need to see this to believe it!

more funky lines in Hamersley gorge

more funky lines in Hamersley gorge

amazing waterfalls in Hamersley Gorge

amazing waterfalls in Hamersley Gorge

the colours, the lines - just stunning

the colours, the lines – just stunning

Jude at the bottom

Jude at the bottom

it's like you're walking in a painting of Dali, but then more surreal and more beautiful

it’s like you’re walking in a painting of Dali, but then more surreal and more beautiful

spa pool in Hamersly Gorge

spa pool in Hamersly Gorge

Jude and Marcus go for a swim in the spa pool

amazing waterfall in Hamersley Gorge

amazing waterfall in Hamersley Gorge

another pretty waterfall

another pretty waterfall

folded lines - Hamersley Gorge

folded lines – Hamersley Gorge

John and Scooby had booked us into their camp ground in Broome for the night and we went straight to Divers when we got there. We also met up with Sean who joined us after dinner for some drinks. Well, quite a few drinks. The party ended on Cable beach just outside our camp ground with lots of drinking, singing and some skinny dipping. Unfortunately both Marcus & Jude’s phone didn’t survive the night…

some iron ore in the world's longest trains

some iron ore in the world’s longest trains

having drinks in the pub - John, Sean, Marcus and Scooby

having drinks in the pub – John, Sean, Marcus and Scooby

Marcus and Jude on Cable beach, we probably haven't realised we lost our phones by then...

Marcus and Jude on Cable beach, we probably haven’t realised we lost our phones by then…

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